As someone who really enjoys photographing landscapes, I often use Neutral Density (ND) filters. And as much as I love using those filters, it’s a pain to have to screw them on and off, over and over again.
Enter the Alter Rapid Filter System, an upcoming product that I was able to check out during WPPI.
While the company didn’t exhibit at the expo, co-founder Joshua Kasumovic and content creator & marketing specialist Kyle Broxterman met with me and fellow Photofocus author Levi Sim for a quick demo of their product.
What it is
Think of the Alter Rapid Filter System like a window you attach to your lens. It attaches via the universal threads your lens has, and then you can screw a filter on to it (between 40.5mm and 85 mm filter thread size). You can also attach a filter step-up ring to it, handy for yours truly who hasn’t bothered upgrading filter sizes after switching to mirrorless.
You can lift the “window” up and down with ease, as it attaches to your lens via three magnets. This makes it easy to photograph something with a filter, and with a lift of a finger, the filter is out of the way.
The Rapid Filter System has a 270-degree hinge rotation, offering the ability to push back the Rapid Filter System so it’s all of the way out of the way. The hinge itself can rotate up to 360 degrees. It also offers zero vignetting on focal lengths as short as 18 mm on full-frame cameras.
It also works with lens caps and white balance discs, meaning you don’t have to dump those in your bag while carrying your camera around.
Finally, the Rapid Filter System is made with milled hard-anodized aerospace aluminum, meaning it’ll stand up to even the toughest conditions. It also comes with a hinge tension wrench and a lens mount.
What it isn’t
There’s only one thing I wish the Alter Rapid Filter System would have — compatibility with lens hoods. I’m a big fan of lens hoods for a plethora of reasons, but using this system means I have to put it back in the bag.
Alter mentioned they hear this request a lot. I have hopes that this compatibility will eventually be added into the mix, but it probably won’t be with version 1.0.
The Rapid Filter System features an integrated light shield. This prevents sidelight from sneaking in and causing flare.
Is it right for you?
Personally, I can’t wait to try out the Alter Rapid Filter System. Its Kickstarter campaign will be launching this spring, and we’ll be getting our hands on a few production samples to try out.
While I certainly can see many uses for this in terms of photographing landscapes, it might even have a bigger market for videographers, allowing them to swap between using filters then moving it out of the way with ease. Regardless, tools like this are meant to make a photographer’s life easier … and I can certainly see that being the case here.